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Independence Day Highlights: Congress says PM Narendra Modi’s speech ‘shallow’, didn’t speak on atmosphere of hatred

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi. In his Independence Day speech, he spoke on India’s space mission and unveiled the Ayushman Bharat health scheme. Here are the updates:

By HT Correspondent | Aug 15, 2018 15:18 IST

In his last Independence Day address ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length about the progress India has made under his government and asserted that its rise is being hailed by the world.

Modi drew a comparison between the situation in 2013 and how things stand today and said if the pace of the UPA government’s last year was maintained, it would have taken decades, centuries and generations to build as many toilets, distribute as many LPG connections among the poor and lay down as much optical fibre as his government has done.


Here are the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech and Independence Day celebrations :

1:37pm IST

Indian high commissioner to Pakistan hoists tricolour in Islamabad

High commissioner of India to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria hoists the national flag at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

1:10pm IST

Kerala CM urges people to celebrate I-Day by helping flood-hit

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan urges people to contribute generously in the wake of the state’s worst flood disaster as he took the Independence Day salute in Thiruvananthapuram in pouring rain.

12:36pm IST

School girl collapses during I-Day celebrations at Red Fort

A 13-year-old school girl, who had come to perform in the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort, fell unconscious due to heat and dehydration, while an exhausted photojournalist collapsed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delivering his address at the Red Fort.

12:30pm IST

Congress terms PM Modi’s speech ‘shallow’

PM Modi’s last speech on Independence Day proved to be shallow. There was no substance, he didn’t speak on corruption of Rafale & Vyapam, Chhattisgarh PDS scam, Chinese encroachment in Doklam and other areas or atmosphere of hatred created in the nation: Randeep Surjewala, Congress, reports ANI.

12:17pm IST

India gifts 30 ambulances to Nepal

India gifted 30 ambulances and six buses to Nepalese hospitals, charitable organisations and educational institutions on the occasion of Independence Day.

12:04pm IST

ASC Tornadoes perform daring stunts in Bengaluru

ASC Tornadoes performing during the Independence Day celebration at Manekshaw Parade ground in Bengaluru on August 15. (HT Photo/Arijit Sen)
11:40am IST

President Kovind pays tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti

11:30am IST

Border meeting between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Nathu La

Border meeting takes place between Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Nathu La, Sikkim to jointly celebrate Independence Day.

11:11am IST

Indians abroad celebrate Independence day

Independence Day was celebrated by Indians in China, Australia, Singapore.

In Beijing, a large number of the Indian diaspora took part in the Independence Day celebrations held at the Indian Embassy.

In Melbourne, a large number of Indian expatriates attended the flag hoisting ceremonies held at the Indian High Commission in Canberra and consulate buildings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the Indian government and said that India and Australia were great friends with a lot in common as modern, vibrant and diverse democracies.

In Singapore, more than 500 Indians in Singapore joined High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf in celebrating the day.

11:01am IST

US wishes India, praises Indian-American diaspora

In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, “On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my best wishes to the people and government of India on their Independence Day. Since gaining its independence 71 years ago today, India has set an example for South Asia and the world by supporting democracy, diversity, and the rule of law-values shared by the United States.”

“On this Indian Independence Day, we congratulate India- a unique civilization, fellow democracy, and a friend- on taking its rightful place as a leading global power and continuing our shared efforts to sustain the rules-based order” reads the statement.

Pompeo also says, “Grateful for the vibrant Indian-American diaspora and the growing number of young people strengthening ties between our countries as exchange students.”

10:50am IST

1100m long tricolour unfurled in Gujarat’s Surat

10:40am IST

Indian flag hoisted in Fiji

10:33am IST

APJ Abdul Kalam’s elder brother unfurls tricolour at Kalam House

10:29am IST

Pakistan Rangers and BSF exchange sweets at Attari- Wagah border

Pakistan Rangers and BSF exchange sweets at Attari-Wagah border on the occasion of Independence Day.

ANI Photo/Twitter
10:04am IST

Congress president Rahul Gandhi hoists national flag

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Independence Day message via Twitter:

“On this Independence Day my best wishes to all Indians. As we celebrate our independence as a nation, let us remember all those brave men and women, our freedom fighters, whose sacrifices and dedication helped us win our independence.

Jai Hind.”

10:05am IST

Sweets exchanged between Indian and Pakistani army officers

Exchange of sweets between Indian and Pakistani army officers took place at Chakkan Da Bagh on LoC in Poonch on Tuesday.

9:40am IST

Sweets exchanged between Indian and Bangladeshi soldiers at the border

Exchange of sweets between India and Bangladesh took place at the Indo-Bangladesh border at BOP Fulbari.

9:35am IST

BJP president Amit Shah unfurls national flag

BJP president Amit Shah unfurls the national flag at party headquarters in New Delhi on August 15. (HT Photo/Vipin Kumar)
9:20am IST

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurls the national flag in Bengaluru

9:00am IST

PM Modi ignores security protocol to meet school children

After delivering the Independence Day speech at Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi steps out of his car to meet school children.

Modi shakes hands with some of the students and waves at others. He is also seen talking to a few of them

8:54am IST

We want to progress more: PM Modi

We want to progress more. There is no question of stopping or getting tired on the way: PM

8:53am IST

PM reiterates his government’s resolutions

•Housing for All •Power for All •Clean Cooking for All •Water for All • Connectivity for All •Sanitation for All •Skill for All •Health for All • Insurance for All

8:51am IST

J-K problems can be solved with hugs not bullets: PM Modi

Atalji called for ‘insaniyat’ (humanity), ‘Kashmiriat’ (eclectic Kashmiri culture) and ‘jamhooriyat’ (democracy). I also said that the issues in Kashmir can be resolved by embracing the people of Kashmir: PM Modi

8:50am IST

Tripura, Meghalaya completely free from AFSPA: PM Narendra Modi

Due to efforts of armed forces, central and state governments, the states of Tripura, Meghalaya are completely free from AFSPA: PM Modi

Many parts of Arunachal Pradesh are also seeing historic peace. From 126 districts, left-wing extremism is restricted to 90 districts. We are working to ensure peace across the nation: PM Modi

8:48am IST

PM Narendra Modi addresses triple talaq practice

PM Modi says the practice of Triple Talaq has caused great injustice among Muslim women. “We are trying to end this practice but there are some people who are not wanting it to end...I ensure the Muslim women that I will work to ensure justice is done to them,” says PM Modi.

8:45am IST

Women officers in short service will get same opportunity as male counterparts: PM Narendra Modi

Women officers commissioned in short service will get opportunity for permanent commission like their male counterparts: PM Modi

8:43am IST

Need to free country from ‘demonic mentality’ of rape: PM Narendra Modi

We have to free our society and country from this disgusting mentality of rape. Recently in Madhya Pradesh a rapist was hanged by fast track court. We should spread this news and make people aware. Rule of law is supreme,no one can take law in their hands: PM Modi

8:41am IST

No place for nepotism: PM Narendra Modi

In today’s India there is no place for nepotism. We have ensured environmental clearances are done transparently: PM

8:40am IST

Won’t forgive people who have black money: PM Modi

We will not forgive the corrupt and those who have black money. They have ruined the nation: PM Modi

He says, “Delhi’s streets are free from power brokers...From the voice of power brokers, the voice of the poor is heard.”

8:35am IST

Country is celebrating honesty: PM Modi

PM Modi praises tax payers, says people are “celebrating the festival of honesty”.

The honest taxpayer of India has a major role in the progress of the nation. It is due to them that so many people are fed, the lives of the poor are transformed: PM

8:27am IST

PM Modi unveils Ayushman Bharat scheme

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan will be launched on 25th September this year. It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare: PM

The healthcare initiatives of the Government of India will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians. It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare: PM

8:19am IST

WHO said 3 lakh kids in India were saved due to cleanliness drive: Modi

Last month, WHO said 3 lakh kids were saved due to the cleanliness drive in India: PM

8:10am IST

By 2022, India will send manned flight into space: Modi

India is proud of our scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In the year 2022 or if possible before, India will unfurl the tricolour in space: PM Narendra Modi

8:08am IST

We have brought northeast India closer to Delhi in 4 years: PM Modi

Earlier people thought, the distance between the capital and the northeast region was a lot. We have reduced the distance between Delhi and northeast in four years: PM Modi

8:05am IST

India’s voice is being heard effectively at world stage: Modi

India’s voice is being heard effectively at the world stage. We are integral parts of forums whose doors were earlier closed for us: PM

8:03am IST

India is now the land of reform, perform and transform: Modi

From being seen as among the fragile five, India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. We are poised for record economic growth: PM

8:02am IST

Modi thanks business community for the success of GST

Who did not want the passage of the GST yet it was pending for years? : PM Modi

He says last year GST became a reality.

I want to thank the business community for the success of the GST: PM

8:01am IST

India has become destination for trillion-dollar investment: Modi

PM Modi says India has become destination for trillion-dollar investment.

8:00am IST

Centre and state govts have to constantly strive to fulfil expectations: PM Modi

Centre and state govts have to constantly strive to fulfil the expectations and needs of the country: PM Modi

7:52am IST

Nation has made remarkable strides: Modi

We are proud of what we have achieved and at the same time, we also have to look at where we have come from. That is when we will realised the remarkable strides the nation has made, says PM

If we had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being built in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening in 2013, then it would have taken us decades to complete them: PM

7:50am IST

New energy in the country: PM Modi

It’s the same people, same system, same files but in these four years there is a new energy in the country: PM

7:47am IST

Have to ensure social justice for all: Modi

7:45am IST

PM pays tributes to victims of Jallianwala Bagh massacre

7:44am IST

PM Modi offers condolences to families ravaged by floods

Many parts of the nation witnessed a good monsoon but at the same time parts of India have been affected by flooding. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives due to floods in various parts of India: PM

7:42am IST

PM recalls sacrifice during freedom struggle

On behalf of the people of India, I bow to all those great women and men who sacrificed themselves for the nation during the freedom movement: PM

7:40am IST

OBC Commission strengthened: PM

The recently concluded Parliament session was one devoted to social justice. The Parliament session witnessed the passage of the Bill to create an OBC Commission: PM

7:39am IST

PM Modi praises women officers of Indian Navy

We are proudly celebrating Independence Day today as six women officers of the Indian Navy, circumnavigated the globe recently on the INSV Tarini: PM Modi

7:38am IST

Young people have hoisted the tricolour on Mt Everest: PM

We are celebrating our independence when our young people have hoisted the tricolour on Mt Everest: PM Modi

7:37am IST

Nation is achieving new heights: PM

Nation is achieving new heights; it has a new energy, says PM Modi in his address.

7:34am IST

PM Modi begins speech

Narendra Modi begins address from the Red Fort.

7:29am IST

National flag unfurled

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurls the national flag at the Red Fort.

7:20am IST

PM Modi arrives at Red Fort

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the Red Fort. Inspects Guard of Honour.

7:05am IST

PM Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

7:00am IST

Major Aditya, rifleman Aurangzeb to get Shaurya Chakra

Major Aditya Kumar, who was embroiled in a controversy after his unit fired on a stone-pelting mob in South Kashmir’s Shopian in January leading to death of three persons, is among 20 armed forces personnel named for the Shaurya Chakra award.

Rifleman Aurangzeb, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir and was brutally killed by militants in Pulwama in June when he was on his way home for Eid, will also be conferred the third highest gallantry award.

6:45am IST

PM Modi receives suggestions for his August 15 speech

The Prime Minister has received thousands of suggestions for his August 15 speech after he asked people to send him ideas, a practice he has followed since the last few years, on several platforms including the Narendra Modi app.

6:40am IST

High security in Delhi

Nearly 70,000 officials of Delhi Police are guarding the national capital and close to 10,000 personnel have been deployed at the Red Fort, where senior ministers, top bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people will be present during the Prime Minister’s address.

6:30am IST

Commandos take over Red Fort

The Mughal-era Red Fort has been put under a heavy security cover along with other critical areas in the national capital. Sharpshooters will also be stationed on rooftops in the cluttered streets around the fort while helicopters will fly overhead.

A special team of snipers and commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) will form the inner layer of the security cordon at the Red Fort with anti-aircraft guns deployed to thwart drones and projectiles, senior police officials told PTI.

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